why do we need fat in a balanced diet

What you need to know about cholesterol The word бБcholesterolБ is usually associated with heart disease, and often with, but is it all bad? бWhy do we need cholesterol? Cholesterol is only found in animals Б not plants. б It is a БlipidБ which means it is fat-related, and a
vital component of several cell functions to make new cell membranes and to make a range of steroid hormones. Animal foods which contain fat may also contain cholesterol. However, most of the cholesterol needed in our bodies is made by our own cells in a carefully regulated way. б Only a small amount of what we need comes from the cholesterol in the foods that we consumer.

Did you know? б Dietary cholesterol is actually of little importance because we don t absorb most of it. б When our body contains too much cholesterol, it has mostly been made in our own livers, and the culprits are dietary saturated and trans-fats, rather than the cholesterol from our foods. We measure cholesterol in the blood, where there are 3 different types: very low density lipoproteins (VLDL). These lipoproteins б (a combination of fat and protein) carry cholesterol through our bloodstream to where it is needed. б When there is excess cholesterol, б LDL and VLDL carry cholesterol into blood vessels where they can stick to the walls of your arteries, forming plaques/deposits which can block your arteries.

In time this prevents blood flowing through them normally, hence heart attack or stroke. б HDL carries cholesterol out of the body tissues back to the liver, so is sometimes known as Б good Б cholesterol. б Higher levels of HDL cholesterol reduce the risk of heart disease but higher levels of LDL cholesterol increase the risk.

A healthy body needs some fat, which contains essential nutrients. Your body uses dietary fat to make tissue and manufacture biochemicals, such as hormones. Fats in your diet are sources of energy that add flavor to food the sizzle on the steak, you can say. However, fats may also be hazardous to your health. The trick is separating the good from the bad. The chemical family name for fats and related compounds such as cholesterol is lipids. Liquid fats are called oils ; solid fats are called, well, fat. With the exception of cholesterol, fats are high-energy nutrients.

Gram for gram, fats have more than twice as much energy potential (calories) as protein and carbohydrates (affectionately referred to as carbs): 9 calories per fat gram versus 4 calories per gram for proteins and carbs. Some of the body fat made from food fat is visible. Even though your skin covers it, you can see the fat in the adipose (fatty) tissue in female breasts, hips, thighs, buttocks, and belly or male abdomen and shoulders. This visible body fat Cushions your skin (imagine sitting in your chair for a while as you enjoy your visit to Dummies. com without your buttocks to pillow your bones) Other body fat is invisible.

You can t see this body fat because it s tucked away in and around your internal organs. This hidden fat is A component of myelin, the fatty material that sheathes nerve cells and makes it possible for them to fire the electrical messages that enable you to think, see, speak, move, and perform the multitude of tasks natural to a living body; brain tissue also is rich in fat A constituent of hormones and other biochemicals, such as vitamin D and bile